Information on how to run faster, lift stronger and think deeper

Stronglifts and Muay Thai

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Mar 13, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Stronglifts and Muay Thai

Stronglifts and Muay Thai

Stronglifts is not the ideal pairing with martial arts. If you are a beginning fighter focus on your Muay Thai instructions and listen closely to your trainer. No need for extra work in the weight room, ask your master what to do instead if you want to train more. If you are a fully qualified Muay Thai fighter who wants to step up their game in the weight room, go for programs like Wendler 531 or the Juggernaut method. These are more suited to your level of fitness and goal set than Stronglifts 5x5.

Get the free 80 page Stronglifts 5x5 ebook

What is your why?


Before we go into Stronglifts and Muay Thai let me ask you a couple of questions


  • Why do you want to combine Stronglifts and Muay Thai?
  • Why do you want to do Stronglifts?
  • Why do you want to do Muay Thai?
  • Why is the current situation not sufficient?


You might think that these questions are odd and I should just cut to the chase. However, these questions are important if you want to be successful and reach your goals. As a Muay Thai fighter, you will get injured. Strength training with Stronglifts can be incredibly boring. When life hits you in the mouth and others shake their heads in disbelief you better have a good reason to keep going. If you don't, you will quit. This is why I do this little exercise.


Most people think about their goals and life in this way:


  • What do I want to achieve?
  • How do I achieve it?
  • Why do I want to achieve it? 

Almost everyone gets the first part. I want to lose fat. I want to save more money. The examples are endless. Fewer actually sit down and think properly about how to achieve their needs and wants. Especially when it has to be done on a continuous basis. Almost no one digs deep into why they want to lose weight or become a better fighter. That is what makes the big difference between champions and pretenders.


If you are not convinced yet watch Simon Sinek's TED talk on the golden circle. He makes a very compelling case on why you should start at the WHY and not at the WHAT to get anything meaningful done.




Stronglifts is one of the most popular beginner programs for lifting. IT takes a middle of the road approach between muscle building and strength development. The tool of choice to sculpt your results is the barbell. You will train three times a week. The exercises you will use are:



You will squat each session while all other exercises are being rotated. All exercises start from an empty bar except the deadlift and row. The aim is to complete five sets of five repetitions for each exercise at a certain weight. The only exception is the deadlift with 1x5 repetitions. Once you complete a complex like this you increase weight. If you fail more than three times you take 10% off the load. I won't go into more detail as the free Stronglifts 5x5 app does an excellent job if guiding you through the program. If you are interested in more details of the progression read my Stronglifts 5x5 review.


The biggest advantages of Stronglifts are its simplicity and effectiveness. You will get solid results. In the process of obtaining them, you will always know what to do next and whether you are doing good or bad. This direct feedback loop makes it so interesting to get beginners hooked on weight training.


The biggest disadvantages of Stronglifts 5x5 are its marketing and lack of specificity. If you only look shortly in your research for 5x5 your expectations will be way too high. Especially the muscle gains are way overstated. If pumping up is your main goal get your diet plan straight first, then do a program like German volume training if you are really fit or Shortcut to size if you are building up from scratch.


Muay Thai


Muay Thai is a martial art which heavily involves kicking and punching with the knees and elbows. It is also known as the "art of eight limbs" which shows its origin Thailand and Hinduism. Its competitions are currently being governed by the World Professional Muaythai Federation. 


The biggest advantage of Muay Thai compared to other martial arts is that it provides excellent techniques in the mid-range. An effective Muay Thai fighter will have no problems to win a standing clinch or avoid a bigger opponents range by closing in and clinching them.


The biggest disadvantage of Muay Thai is that the viciousness of the strikes delivered can have huge consequences when used outside of training and competition in the real world. An armbar or chokehold (done correctly and controlled) knocks out your opponent or delays things until help arrives. A well-timed elbow to the temple or knee to the liver might kill an untrained opponent.


Which program should you do?


If you are starting out in Muay Thai focus on learning your art and perfecting it. Practice your punches, knees, and elbows. The force and effectiveness of strikes depend more on explosiveness, timing, and precision than on strength. You do not need to supplement strength with a lifting program like Stronglifts.


If you are a more seasoned Muay Thai fighter you might want to look into Wendler 531 or The Juggernaut method instead of Stronglifts. These programs are more styled towards individuals who are already fit and want to supplement their main training with strength training.


If you are a complete beginner who just wants to stay fit or feels underdeveloped compared to peers go with Stronglifts. No need to go the risk of Injury of full contact sports when you can build confidence by lifting some weights.


Further reading




Topics: Lift stronger, Stronglifts 5x5, Fitness, Strength